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The Importance of Email Marketing Metrics

Email marketing can be your most valuable marketing tool when it’s done the right way. Why? You can reach and connect with your target audience in a timely, engaging, personalized way. You also have the ability to measure its success by analyzing basic email marketing metrics.

Why Are Email Marketing Metrics Important?

There is so much data provided in an email marketing tool. It shouldn’t be ignored. Most tools have the ability to track what happens after your email is sent. This gives you a better understanding of how your campaigns are working. It also tells you what you should tweak for optimal results. However, you may not know where to look, what it all means, and why it is important. So let’s break it down.

Your email marketing metrics are the number one indicator of engagement. Are your customers or clients listening to what you have to say? Are you enticing your readers with compelling content? Or are they tuning you out? Metrics can give you the answer.

email marketing metrics illustration
email marketing metrics illustration

Additionally, your email marketing metrics will give you insights into each campaign’s performance. Did your audience like your message? Were they interested? If so, maybe you should consider a related or similar topic for your next message. When your numbers show an email fail (hey, even the best do it sometimes!), you’ll know to steer clear of that topic in the future. Or maybe all you need to do is take a different approach with your subject line. (Yes, your email marketing metrics can tell you that too).

Actively reviewing your metrics after each campaign will ensure your overall success over time. Check out the five core questions you should be asking yourself when reviewing your data.

Are All Metrics Created Equal?

Each metric tells a different story and provides you with a better understanding of your overall performance. Here are the basic metrics you should track and understand to optimize your email marketing efforts.


  • Open Rate: A top metric to measure—this number signifies how many times your email has been opened. This is particularly important in determining the success of your subject line. Is it engaging enough to encourage readers to open the email?
  • Click-Through Rate: This tells you how many people are clicking on one or more links in an email campaign. Is the copy and imagery compelling enough to make subscribers want to learn about your brand and/or products? Over time, this metric should increase as your emails improve. Additionally, it will reflect your overall metrics and performance.
  • Conversion Percentage: This number goes up each time a desired action takes place in your message. That includes filling out a lead generation form, purchasing a product, signing up for an event, and more. Conversion rates are vital, as they show you whether or not you’re generating leads. If you want to get fancy, conversion rates over time will show you the lifetime value of your customer. That’s important stuff.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: How many subscribers are opting out of your emails? The reason they unsubscribe could be due to a number of personal reasons including content relevancy, frequency of messages, or lack of interest. If this rate is high—for example, over 30%—something is wrong with the messaging itself. You’ll need to address it in order to make your campaigns successful.

What Other Metrics Should I Pay Attention to?

In addition to engagement metrics, you should also analyze the bounce rate, your number of subscribers, how many times your message is shared, and your sender reputation. We’ll cover those here.


    • Bounce Rate: Messages that were not successfully delivered to a recipient show up as either a hard bounce or soft bounce.

Hard Bounce: This is when you send an email to an address that is non-existent or no longer active. These addresses should be removed from your list, as a high number of hard bounces can cause ISPs (internet service providers) to flag your email as spam.

Soft Bounce: When there is a temporary issue, such as a full email inbox or an issue with the email provider, it creates a soft bounce. A message with a soft bounce will resend over a period of time in case a spot opens up. That way, it maximizes deliverability opportunities.

  • Email Subscriber List: It’s important to check the number of people on your active audience list to monitor growth or decline. The more subscribers you have, the better. Sometimes this number will fluctuate in either direction as you refine your list. This is normal! As long as the trend is generally upward, that means your business is flourishing.
  • Forward/Share Rate: One way to gain new subscribers is by encouraging readers to share your email with friends. A high forward/share rate means your readers find your content compelling enough to become a free ambassador for your brand. That’s great news! This rate includes sharing via email or social media.
  • Sender Reputation: A better score on this indicator means your message has a better chance it will successfully reach a recipient’s inbox. If your emails are marked as spam, your domain could be blacklisted—meaning successful delivery is low. Therefore, a high sender reputation is good for your business.

What Do I Do Now?

It’s easy to see how email marketing metrics can turn your messaging into a goldmine. Having a strong understanding of what each and every metric means can help guide you strategically as you map out your email content and overall campaign direction. Also, knowing what changes to look for is just as important to ensure top-notch email performance. But if analyzing metrics is new to you, all those numbers can become overwhelming.

Feeling lost trying to decode email marketing metrics by yourself? Hire a team who already knows how to take a deep dive into data—and can help you leverage it to your advantage. Email Broadcast has a staff of email marketing badasses in every area related to digital marketing campaigns, including content creation, graphic design, email marketing metrics, technical support, and more. We can help you win more business with your email marketing.

Schedule a 20-minute consultation today to see what we can do for you.

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